The year was 1963. Dr. Harold Hedges and Dr. Jim Flack had both graduated from the University of Arkansas School of Medicine. They had completed a rotating internship at St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center and spent 3 ½ years as U.S. Navy flight surgeons stationed in Jacksonville, Florida.
Upon their return, these two close friends decided to go into practice together. They chose North University Avenue (then on the western edge of Little Rock) as the site, and Little Rock Family Practice was off to a start. At the time, there was one employee who acted as receptionist, typist, nurse and lab technician. The doctors’ wives filled in – between raising children.
Underestimating how much the practice would grow, the doctors had to move just six months later into a larger space. In 1965, Dr. William Wade joined the clinic and the doctors began a 15-year relationship with a local hospital staffing the emergency room.
Family practice was different in those days. House calls were made almost daily and the three doctors assisted surgeons with many of the patients they had referred for surgical procedures. Lab procedures were limited, all done by hand, one at a time. Infections were treated with tetracycline, penicillin and sulfa drugs. Office x-ray options were limited and were of poor quality compared to today.
In 1970, Dr. Robert McGowan joined the clinic as the fourth physician. Today, there are two clinics with a total of 12 physicians and 67 employees.
Eight physicians are located at Little Rock Family Practice West in a modern facility at 4208 N. Rodney Parham Road. Little Rock Family Practice Central has four physicians and is located in a virtually new facility at 701 N. University Avenue.
While the way we practice family medicine may have changed over the years, and while our diagnostic technology has become state-of-the-art, the physicians at Little Rock Family Practice still adhere to the same traditions of personalized, warm, friendly and compassionate care established in 1963.